lines of colorful glitter next to a rolled up two dollar bill american

10 Ways You Should Never, Ever Use Glitter

We shouldn’t have to go over this but here we are. Never, ever ingest glitter because it is made from millions of tiny pieces of plastic and metal.

Lately glitter inspired photo shoots have been all the rage on Instagram and Pinterest. With the recent trends in glitter makeup, body glitter, glitter boobs and booties, make up artists are trying everything under the sun with the sparkly beauty product. But do you even know what glitter is?

Glitter is not a drug or a food. It is composed of millions of microscopic particles made from plastic and metal. Most cosmetic glitter is made from polyester or Polyethylene Terephthalate. In the glitter factory they lay out a big sheet of polyester in pretty colors and then chop it up into small pieces. But it can also be made out of aluminum, gold, mylar, glass and other shiny substances.

nyx face & body glitter

NYX Professional Face & Body Glitter ($6.50 each)

Polyester is not known to have any harmful effects on the human body. But you should never eat it because it will get stuck in your digestive tract and make you poop glitter. Perhaps you have noticed that after applying glitter makeup, tiny particles of it stay on for weeks at a time. That’s because the polymer has bonded to the surface of the skin. If you eat it the glitter will do that inside of your tummy. There is already concern about the effects of microplastics on the environment, because they get into the water supply and fish eat them. Glitter is a type of microplastic. If fish should not eat it then neither should you.

The US Center for Poison Control reminds us to always follow the instructions on art products. (That warning is intended for children.) Here are some common mistakes made with glitter.

1. Do not eat glitter.


There is a special type of edible glitter make for cake decorators. But cosmetic glitter is not that kind. Never eat glitter make up or glitter for arts and crafts. We cannot stress that enough. In a best case scenario you will end up vomiting glitter and blood like the woman pictured above.

2. Do not dip your banana in glitter.


Never dip a piece of fruit in glitter and then eat it. It will not taste like food, and it would be very difficult to make yourself chew and then swallow. There are no nutritional benefits to eating glitter.

3. Do not add glitter to coffee or tea.


Glitter does not make a good addition to beverages such as coffee or tea. In fact the microscopic particles of glitter would likely cause some health problems, or possibly carve up your insides.

4. Do not swallow a pill capsule of glitter.


Glitter will not get you high. It has never gotten anyone high. Why would you even think that? It would be like grinding up a soda bottle and then taking it for a headache.

5. Do not snort glitter.


Snorting glitter will not get you fucked up, but it will hurt like a son of a bitch and cause nosebleeds. Once again polyethylene is not a drug. It has not been a drug since it was invented in 1941.

6. Do not inject glitter into the bloodstream.


Only a suicidal masochist would consider injecting glitter into their bloodstream. Never attempt to inject microscopic particles of metal and plastic into yourself because you might have a stroke and die.

7. Do not attempt to smoke glitter.


Unfortunately it is not possible to smoke polyester and get high from it. Burning plastic only results in the harsh smell of chemicals and a lot of black smoke, like when you melt garbage on a campfire.

8. Do not spike alcohol with glitter.


This goes back to the coffee and tea thing. Pouring glitter into a alcoholic beverage will not create any effect of inebriation on the human body. It will just sink to the bottom, with a little bit floating at the top. If a bartender ever put glitter in a cocktail then he would get sued by the patrons.

9. Do not dip a candy apple in glitter.


If you want to enjoy that candy apple it is a bad idea to dip it in large chunks of glitter. You should never add glitter to any confections. It is not good for anyone to eat ever, and tastes like hunks of plastic.

10. Do not use glitter in place of shampoo.


Shampoo is important for good hygiene and should be used at least a few times per week according to the instructions on the label. Glitter makes a poor substitute and actually looks dirtier than soap.

As you can plainly see after reading this list, glitter is not a drug or a food, and it never has been. Only a pet dog would be stupid enough to eat glitter, and not a very bright dog such as a border collie. Remember to apply glitter makeup in a safe fashion, and to never, ever ingest it.

If you like makeup then ask yourself these questions. Would you buy battery free LED eyelashes from Shiseido? What are the sluttiest highlighters of early 2018?

Any comments?

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Elizabeth de Moya has contributed to DJ Mag, DJ TechTools, LA Weekly and Thump (Vice). She has a BA in Linguistics from UC Berkeley.